Enough is enough?

Enough is enough?

Submitted by hisreputation on August 5, 2015 – 6:23am.

Just started venturing in to the brave new (to me!) world of sourdough bread.  After a co-worker with minimal baking experience successfully made some, I thought I should give it a go.  Success has been a bit more elusive for me.

When do you decide to completely pitch the starter, and start over?

Last Sunday evening (7/26) I assembled my starter according to the instructions on the King Arthur Flour website: 4oz (by weight) flour and 4oz water.  I used white whole wheat flour.  I continued to follow the instructions, although I missed the first day of double feeding and only fed once.  I kept it in a glass dish, lightly covered with saran wrap, and began storing it in the oven part-way through the week.  By Sunday (8/2) I had some minimal bubbles, but absolutely no doubling or rising of any kind. 

Sunday evening: I purchased some regular whole wheat flour and used that for the evening feeding.  Monday morning: I skipped the AM feeding and saw some teeny, tiny bubbles within the mixture–nothing on top.  Monday evening: I again used whole wheat flour for the feeding.  Tuesday AM: skipped the feeding.  Tuesday PM: fed with all-purpose flour.  Wednesday AM: no activity.

What to do?  Pitch it, or keeping feeding and hoping for the best?  I started another one (recipe from Serious Eats), and it even seems to be struggling. 

BTW, I’m in Austin, TX where the temps have been in the upper 90s to low 100s.  It is pretty humid here, though.  Our house A/C is set to 78ish.